Tuesday , Feb , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons hope to continue winning ways against Hawks

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons try to build on one of the best first
halves in league history this evening when they continue a three-game
homestand against the Atlanta Hawks at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Last Tuesday, Chauncey Billups notched 19 points and 10 assists as Detroit
improved to 42-9 with an 85-71 win over New Jersey. Richard Hamilton scored 18
points for the Pistons, who have won three of their last four games.

Rasheed Wallace, who grabbed 11 rebounds, and Tayshaun Prince both scored 13
points, while Ben Wallace added 10 points and 13 boards.

Thanks to their impressive first half, the Pistons placed four players on the
Eastern Conference All-Star squad. Head Coach Flip Saunders guided the East
and put Billups, Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace on the court
together and the group’s stifling defense was a big part of the East’s 122-120
win on Sunday.

Detroit, which will close its homestand on Thursday against Indiana, is an
unbelievable 23-2 in its arena this season.

Atlanta, meanwhile, comes in on a rare winning note as well after Josh Smith
tied career-bests with 21 points and 15 rebounds and the Hawks finally got a
road victory over a Western Conference team after downing the Los Angeles
Lakers 114-110 on Wednesday at the Staples Center.

The Hawks also received huge contributions from Joe Johnson and Josh Childress
to break a 23-game road losing streak against the West, dating back to
November 12, 2004.

Childress added 21 points off the bench while Johnson compiled 20 points and a
personal-best 15 assists for the Hawks, who won for just the fifth time away
from home (5-20) this season.

Atlanta will host Seattle on Wednesday.

The Hawks shocked the Pistons earlier in the season and have split two
meetings. However, Detroit has won five of seven, 10 of 13 and 13 of the past
17 matchups. Atlanta is also just 2-11 in its last 13 visits to the Motor